Peace Action’s 2020 Class
Mark Kelly (D-AZ-Senate)
Captain Mark Kelly strongly believes in the value of American diplomatic leadership and wants to work with our allies and partners to address the global threats we face. He knows that only through international cooperation can endless wars, disease outbreaks, economic inequality, and the growing climate crisis be tackled.
Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-GA-Senate)
Rev. Raphael Warnock has stepped into the former pulpit of Martin Luther King Jr. and evokes his worldview around peace and justice issues: “Dr. King talked about war and some are beating the drums of war even tonight. Pray for our nation, but as you think about the geopolitical situation, let us resist the demons of militarism that disturb our domestic situation.”
Theresa Greenfield (D-IA-Senate)
Theresa Greenfield wants to see a U.S. foreign policy based on freedom, human rights, and democracy. As a proud military mom, she has seen firsthand the consequences of this country’s endless wars and the sacrifices asked of its troops. She therefore understands the importance of diplomacy and will support the path of peace in the Senate.
Amy McGrath (D-KY-Senate)
“My three post-911 combat tours taught me that not only do we need a strong military, but we must invest in a strong diplomatic corps and in international development. It is the cheapest insurance policy we can buy as a country. I agree with former Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis, when he says that if we don’t help our allies, then we’ll only wind up needing to ‘buy more ammunition.’ This means fully funding the U.S. State Department, USAID, and developing a robust platform of international development and assistance.”
Gary Peters (D-MI-Senate)
Senator Gary Peters is against endless wars and understands that a foreign policy that promotes diplomacy is the only way to achieve peace. He sensibly supported the Iran nuclear accord and has been working to prevent a war since the Trump administration’s withdrawal and implementation of a maximum pressure campaign. As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, he also consistently fights to keep Americans safe and reassert the Congressional role in debating and authorizing war.
Steve Bullock (D-MT-Senate)
“The greatest mistake of American foreign policy since the end of WWII has been the Iraq War. This conflict was started based on the naïve belief that the U.S. could overthrow a regime in the Middle East and democracy would naturally ensue. Rather than a stable democratic regime in Iraq, this war produced a massive amount of instability in an already volatile region. We’ve been entangled in the region for too long, and it’s time to reassess our posture. I want our brave servicemembers to come home as soon as possible.”
Cal Cunningham (D-NC-Senate)
“‘Going it alone’ must always be a last resort, in defense of our most vital national interests. Rather, in pursuing our national security objectives we should use all of the instruments of national power: diplomatic, economic, information and military; and we must recognize that the use of force can detract from security, as easily as it can contribute to our security. There is nothing more important than ensuring the safety of our nation and I believe that starts with smart diplomacy, not bluster and aggression. We should be working with our global allies to advocate for human rights and combat climate change.”
Jaime Harrison (D-SC-Senate)
Jaime Harrison believes that “a rational, comprehensive foreign policy that values diplomacy, human rights and security is the only means to peace.” He wants to help the U.S. regain its standing in the world and to once more work alongside its international allies to push for true global peace and justice.
MJ Hegar (D-TX-Senate)
“I will support responsible national security policies that recognize the value of seeking diplomatic solutions and employing strategic use of humanitarian assistance and trade negotiations, while insisting we reserve the deployment of American troops as a last resort. I believe a healthy State Department is our military’s first line of defense, and our relationships with our allies are fragile and critical to maintain.”
Joyce Elliott (D-AR-02)
“We are not using all of our tools and are instead relying on a president who disregards intelligence briefings, acts on ‘instinct’, never compromises, and only knows how to escalate situations to the very brink. We need a strong Congress that will protect diplomats, trust experts, and push back against a president who believes he can do whatever he pleases.”
Gil Cisneros (D-CA-39)
Congressman Gil Cisneros knows we need to be more strategic with our military budget, and that cutting wasteful Pentagon spending can free up funds for other vital programs like healthcare, housing and education. He also believes Congress needs to uphold the Constitution by reasserting its authority to debate and vote on war.
Ammar Campa-Najjar (D-CA-50)
Ammar Campa-Najjar will push for the use of diplomacy and economic development, instead of allowing our foreign policy to continue its overreliance on waging war. He knows that the U.S. needs to realign its priorities away from the bloated Pentagon budget and toward addressing the healthcare, economic, and education crises facing us.
Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL-26)
In Congress, Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell has voted against the war on Yemen and to prevent the President from starting a war with Iran. She recognizes diplomacy will get us on the path to peace and plans to continue pushing for a more sane U.S foreign policy.
Marie Newman (D-IL-03)
Marie Newman takes a pro-peace and diplomacy stance on the critical issues of foreign policy: from supporting a full review of the bloated Pentagon budget to rid it of unnecessary expenses to wanting to see the repeal of the outdated Authorizations For the Use of Military Force that have led us into endless wars.
Jon Hoadley (D-MI-06)
During his time in the Michigan Statehouse, Hoadley consistently took action to advance the cause of peace. He sponsored a bill calling for an “end to the fighting and war crimes” in Yemen, as well as a resolution calling for humanitarian aid to Lebanon after the port explosion. He also signed a letter to “block funding for further attacks” on Iran after the Soleimani assassination, and has called for a “repeal of the AUMF to prevent further escalation.”
Gretchen Driskell (D-MI-07)
Gretchen Driskell spent years serving the public as a Michigan State Representative and will push for peace and justice in Congress. She is a strong advocate for diplomacy, knowing that only strong international cooperation will prevent the sorts of conflicts the U.S. has been involved in for years.
Elissa Slotkin (D-MI-08)
In Congress, Representative Elissa Slotkin authored legislation in the House to block Trump’s war powers after the attack on Gen. Soleimani. Having served three tours in Iraq, she “feel[s] strongly that Congress has long abdicated its responsibility, as laid out in the Constitution, to make the hard decisions we owe our troops and our country when it comes to authorizing war.” She knows Congress needs to be accountable.
Kara Eastman (D-NE-02)
As a social worker and non-profit professional, Kara Eastman has an impressive track record of serving the American public. In Congress, Eastman will apply that dedication to keeping Americans safe by supporting smart diplomacy and a fully funded State Department, reclaiming Congress’ authority on war, and prioritizing funding for human needs like healthcare and education.
Andy Kim (D-NJ-03)
Representative Andy Kim knows that doing right by our servicemembers means pulling them out of war zones throughout the world. He is working to ensure that Congress reclaims its Constitutional power to debate and declare war.
Nancy Goroff (D-NY-01)
Longtime Stony Brook professor and scientist Nancy Goroff knows our nuclear weapons and borderless, ongoing wars do not make or keep the U.S. safe, but instead put us at growing risk for dangerous escalations. She is committed to increasing U.S. commitment to diplomacy as the best approach to addressing global challenges, which includes remaining in and reentering international arms control agreements.
Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16)
Jamaal Bowman is a true progressive champion who is ready to challenge the hawkish, militaristic status quo. He knows that “we need someone focused not on finding money for bombs and bullets, but for schools, health care and jobs,” and is ready to champion that perspective in Congress and make sure peace, dignity, and security is available for all.
Mondaire Jones (D-NY-17)
Mondaire Jones will work to create a world of justice for all. He knows redirecting money to the State Department and prioritizing investment in human rights and security, as well as “conflict prevention including through development aid to reduce poverty and inequalities and combat climate change” is the way to realize a true progressive foreign policy. He wants to end our forever wars and pivot toward diplomacy and international cooperation.
Dana Balter (D-NY-24)
Dana Balter shares our commitment to putting a stop to endless wars and nuclear proliferation. She would audit the Pentagon budget and provide meaningful oversight, shifting money to the gutted State Department and other human needs. She will be a forceful voice in Congress for a safe, peaceful, just world.
Nate McMurray (D-NY-27)
Nate McMurray understands how massive mismanagement of the Pentagon budget continuously leads to waste of tax-payer money that is more desperately needed in healthcare, education, and infrastructure. He also knows that the true threats we face must be addressed with diplomacy and international cooperation.
Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04)
“For years, Congress has continued to increase the Pentagon’s budget despite overwhelming evidence of its waste and abuse of taxpayer money. While this administration has cut SNAP benefits, Medicaid, reproductive health services, and more, Congress has thus far boosted the Pentagon’s budget by more than $130 billion during President Trump’s first term.”
Sarah Hammond (D-PA-11)
“[F]or decades, we have failed to secure peace in the Middle East or Northern Africa. At the same time, the Pentagon accounts for at least half of our national budget, while we wonder how we can afford basic healthcare, even amidst a global pandemic. To end terrorism, we must invest in infrastructure, diplomacy, and humanitarian aid in countries that have endured generations of war. To end poverty and inequality in this country, we must move money away from bombs and into healthcare, job security, and the sense of security that can only be achieved in a nation not constantly at war.”
Mike Siegel (D-TX-10)
Civil rights lawyer Mike Siegel believes that the American public should have more say than arms manufacturers, that foreign policy should be based on diplomacy and foreign aid not sprawling U.S. military campaigns, and that international human rights law should be advanced and defended in an effort to promote peace.
Sri Preston Kulkarni (D-TX-22)
A former U.S. Foreign Service Officer, Sri Preston Kulkarni knows the United States should be using diplomacy first and foremost. He wants to see a foreign policy that prioritizes international alliances and respect for human rights. He is also aware that bombs and missiles can fix neither the endless wars in which we are involved nor the national security threats the future will bring — more pandemics and climate catastrophe.
Candace Valenzuela (D-TX-24)
Candace Valenzuela knows diplomacy is the only way to bring about real peace. A true progressive, she spent years serving the public as an educator and member of the local school board. Candace wants to see equality and justice for all people in her district, in the country, and in the world and will fight for those values in Congress.
Colin Allred (D-TX-32)
Congressman Colin Allred has used his time in Washington D.C. to call for shifting U.S. spending from the Pentagon budget toward our critical human needs. He knows that the defense budget is often unquestionably increased at the expense of domestic priorities like health care, physical and digital infrastructure, and education, and he supports a more balanced approach.
Cathy Kunkel (D-WV-02)
Cathy Kunkel knows the Pentagon budget is filled with inefficiencies and expects it to pass an audit instead of continuing to receive unquestioned increases. She also wants the U.S. to prioritize human rights, humanitarian aid, and diplomacy in its foreign policy.